I was lucky enough to attend a reunion last August of people I went to elementary and junior high school with. Among the great things to come of it was this panoramic photo of my graduating class (’68) at Whaley Junior High School in Compton.
Amazingly, I don’t even remember this photo being taken. Clearly, it was a big event—we were color-coordinated, and all the boys were wearing ties. That must have been a big deal in those days. But I sure don’t remember it.
Spending an afternoon in a park catching up with so many people with whom I shared so much for so long was a lot of fun. We were in many ways a crazy generation stuck in crazy times—not too many weeks before this picture was taken, Dr. Martin Luther King was gunned down on a motel balcony in Memphis, and not many weeks after this picture was taken, Sen. Robert Kennedy was shot to death in a hotel kitchen not far from where we lived.
It’s fascinating to gaze across these smiling faces now and see the promise of a generation, just as it was fascinating to sit in the park last summer and hear how it had turned out for so many of them.